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Language and Meaning in the Age of ModernismC.K. Ogden and His Contemporaries$
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James McElvenny

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474425032

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474425032.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

The Meaning of Meaning

The Meaning of Meaning

(p.7) Chapter 2 The Meaning of Meaning
Language and Meaning in the Age of Modernism

James McElvenny

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter outlines the semiotic theory presented in Ogden and Richards’ 1923 book The Meaning of Meaning and examines the historical context in which it was written. The motivating concern that runs through the entire book is the establishment of an adequate theory to fight the dangers of ‘word-magic’, the confusions engendered through ignorance of the workings of language. The chief influences on Ogden and Richards are shown to be the logical atomism of Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein and the significs of Victoria Lady Welby. The broader intellectual background of contemporary philosophy, psychology and linguistics against which these ideas were developed is also discussed, along with the influence of the social and political climate of the time.

Keywords:   logical atomism, significs, semantics, semiotics, Russell, Wittgenstein, Welby, Richards, The Meaning of Meaning

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